Lech Wałęsa won the Noble Prize for fighting for Polish independence against the Soviet bloc, a move that ultimately helped bring down the wall dividing East from West. However, he seems to have rediscovered the comfort of a wall in his latest comments calling for homosexual members of parliament to be placed behind a wall to remind them that they are a minority and should adapt themselves to smaller things.”
Wałęsa gave an interview last week about gay rights. He is a deeply religious Catholic and complained about the the presence and activism of homosexuals: He said that he did not want them up front in the assembly and preferably behind a wall: “They must know they are a minority and adapt themselves to smaller things.” It is a disgraceful and hateful comment. However, the response of one of Wałęsa’s opponents, Ryszard Nowak, a former conservative member of parliament, reported Mr Wałęsa to the prosecutor’s office to be prosecuted for promoting hatred of sexual minorities. I have written columns and blogs about the attack on free speech in the West in the use of such laws, including in Poland, (here and here and and and here and and here and here) and the worsening situation in England concerning free speech. As noted in a recent column, free speech appears to be dying in the West with the increasing criminalization of speech under discrimination, hate, and blasphemy laws.
As reprehensible as his comments were, he should have a protection of free speech in stating his views.
What do you think?